Commentary: Is the Devious Maids Controversy Really Warranted?

As a young girl, I remember joining my mother on the bus during her journey to work quite often. She would tell me stories about the struggle of our family in Peru and how she, just seventeen when she arrived in America, was responsible to work hard and help those she left behind.

My mother entered the country as the nanny and housekeeper of a young couple from her native Lima. After marrying my father at the age of twenty, she kept working as a housekeeper and it’s a job that she holds until this day. She taught me never to be ashamed of where I came from or who she is because she made an honest living as a maid.

Last year I attended a special panel during the New York International Film Festival where women in media, including Latina magazine’s Executive Editor Damarys Ocaña and actress Gina Rodriguez, discussed the evolution of the Hispanic actress and why or why should Latinas not continue to play maids in television and film. Coming from my background, I’ve been firmly against it because I feel that its been done enough. We are a new generation, and with stars like Gina Torres, Esai Morales, and Guillermo Diaz playing non-Hispanic specific roles, do we need to keep being maids?